Hot colors, cool porcelain

Maraz Studios
"Shana Tova" or "May you be inscribed in the book of life" is the traditional greeting on one of the holiest of Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanna. This holiday which is widely celebrated as the New Year's Day of the Jewish calendar, in actuality has a fourfold meaning.  In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, "head of the year" or "first of the year".  But it is also, the Day of Judgment, the Day of Rememberence, and the Day of Shofar Blowing.  This Rosh Hashanna, the Hebrew year of 5768, is celebrated sunset September 12 to nightfall September 14, 2007.

The traditions of Rosh Hashanna are simple, as the only commandment specified for the holiday is the blowing of the shofar, the ram's horn.  In synagogue, the shofar is blown 100 times to herald the beginning of the period know as the High Holy Days or the "Ten Days of Repentance" which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is decreed that each year on Rosh Hashanna, "all inhabitants of the world pass before G-d like a flock of sheep," and it is written in three books, "who shall live, and who shall die...who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise."

It is also the day that we proclaim G-d King of the Universe and we remember the creation of Adam and Eve, man's first sin and his repentance thereof, and the couple's first actions toward the realization of mankind's role in G-d's world.  We remember the covenant between G-d and Abraham and plead that the merit of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son stand us in good stead as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity.

On Rosh Hashanna, it is customary for families to gather together for the holiday meal.  The first night's meal begins with apple slices dipped in honey.  This conveys the hope for the coming year to be free of sorrow and full of sweet joys.  Challah, the bread usually eaten on the Sabbath is not braided as customary but instead baked in a circle, also symbolizing the wish for a sweet full year to come full circle until the next Rosh Hashanna. It too is dipped in honey before eating.

While I realize that the Jewish New Year and the American New Year are clearly not similar, they do have at least one commonality: as Americans we use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions".  Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back on mistakes made during the past year and planning the changes to make in the New Year.

So to all of you, my dear friends, Jewish or not, I wish you a sweetness of the season, "Shanna Tova".

This 3 piece set, featuring an 8 inch diameter plate with holes on the back for hanging, will enhance your holiday table as you pass around the apple slices and honey jar. When not in use for the holiday, you can hang the plate on the wall. As a gift, you can inscribe the backside with the saying "Wishing you all the sweetness of the season and hoping it lasts throughout the year". 

$125.00 for  3 pieces

Each of these plate sets are hand painted so no two are exaxtly alike.  This 3 piece set will be absolutely stunning on your holiday table and is sure to bring its share of compliments.  The plate is 10 inches in diameter and will accomodate your round challah.  Pass the bread and honey for a toast to a healthy and prosperous New Year.

$150.00 for 3 pieces